Located in the heart of the Gruene Historic District is the Gruene Antique Company. This conglomeration of small antique collectors is a virtual treasure trove of unique what-nots from all eras, not just those 100+ years old. Appropriately, this shop is located inside the HD Gruene Mercantile Building, which itself is over 100 years old, being built in 1904.
The store itself is rather extensive with what seems to be 20-30 additional smaller shops inside, each having a different look and feel, but all having a large grouping of things that collectors want. Old coins, memorabilia, and other knickknacks are to be found.
What to buy: Plenty of Junk, I mean antiques!
I was walking around the historic center of Gruene and was looking for some Texas gifts and souvenirs. Cotton Eyed Joe's was right in the center, and had a varied collection of items.
Among them: Sweat shirts, caps, T-shirts (Texas speed bump, featuring an armadillo; "bullshirt"; "holy crap, it's big!" to mention a few); a baby bib saying "don't mess with Texas or with my food!"; some books, including the "Longhorn Cookbook"; dolls; mugs; postcards; etc.
There was a small but good selection of music CDs; I picked one with Texas country music, and the nice girl at the cash register put in on for me which made the shop resound with nice music and my shopping experience more pleasant.
On an obvious play on words, the Gruene Haus (pronounced Green House) Country Gourmet Food Store provides some delicious Texas produced food stuffs. In particular, we were able to get a delicious Dr. Pepper BBQ marinade and BBQ sauce, as well as some delicious homemade chocolate amaretto peanut butter. They also have a variety of soft drinks and teas for you to get a quick drink if the Texas heat is burning down on you.
What to buy: Unique Texas food stuffs
What to pay: The home made things are slightly more expensive than mass produced but worth the extra!